The origin of the season of Creation is an Australian story, but one that has become global.
An exciting beginning came in 2000 at St Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Adelaide, where Rev. Norman Habel was pastor. For four weeks, during the four Sundays of September that precede St Francis of Assisi Day (4th October), the congregation relived the great biblical creation stories, and confessed what humanity has done to creation and how God is working to renew creation.
From 2001 to 2003, Rev. Habel worked with the Uniting Church’s Commission for Mission in Melbourne and, after a series of workshops, agreed to explore the idea of a season of Creation. In 2003 and 2004 the Uniting Church in Melbourne provided the funds for the development resources needed, and the Season of Creation was trialled in about fifty congregations in Melbourne and Adelaide. From 2005, the Season of Creation became an option for congregations across Australia, but not only Australia. First the Lutheran churches and the National Council of Churches in America introduced it, and European churches followed. Now the Season of Creation is recognised internationally by all major denominations as a distinct liturgical season in the church year along with Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter and Pentecost, with it own set of Bible readings.
There are a number of links that can be followed to learn more, but the Uniting Church Season of Creation website is a good place to start (https://seasonofcreation.com).
In 2019 the Season of Creation took the following shape:
- September 1 Creation Day
- September 1 1st Sunday in Creation – Ocean Sunday
- September 8 2nd Sunday in Creation –Fauna Sunday
- September 15 3rd Sunday in Creation –Storm Sunday
- September 22 4th Sunday in Creation –Cosmos Sunday
- September 29 5th Sunday in Creation – Blessing of the Animals
- October 4 St Francis of Assisi Day
In 2020, the themes are:
- September 6: Forest Sunday
- September 13: Land Sunday
- September 20: Outback Sunday
- September 27: River Sunday
- October 4: St Francis of Assisi Day
See also: http://seasonofcreation.org